Published May 29, 2020
As areas of the country slowly reopen under various stoplight colors and the restrictions they impose, the global COVID pandemic remains a potent reminder of how research universities like Rutgers continue to be critical drivers of public health. Rutgers experts have been at the forefront of understanding the virus which has brought the globe to a grinding halt, and have been offering key guidance to local officials, communities, and media outlets about moving forward safely. As President Robert Barchi writes in his recent NJ.com editorial, “Just as major research universities have been vital in the response to coronavirus, they will be critical to our global recovery from the disease.”
Friday, May 29
Some health officials are warning the public about a second wave of COVID-19 cases. Others talk about a potential “second peak.” What’s the difference? Does it have to do with factors like age groups and seasonal changes? And could there be a second wave and a second peak at the same time? Yahoo Life explores those questions with help from experts including Lawrence Kleinman, survey/data core director at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research at Rutgers.
The COVID pandemic has led to a resurgence in gardening. The story explores the history of Americans turning to gardening in times of crisis. Cultivating a garden gave people the opportunity to do something tangible and productive says Laura Lawson, professor of landscape architecture at Rutgers and author of City Bountiful: A Century of Community Gardening in America. “You’re providing fresh food for your family; you’re spending time with your kids in the garden. There were lots of therapeutic and patriotic reasons for doing it, too.”
Thursday, May 28
A New Jersey Monthly article describes how “vast pharmaceutical and research powerhouses like Johnson & Johnson and Rutgers University” are racing to defeat COVID-19. A substantial segment of the story is titled “Rutgers rallies its forces” and looks at coronavirus research taking place in several areas of the university, including Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, and others.
New Jersey Monthly | How Jersey Scientists Are Racing to Strike Down COVID-19
An in-depth Chalkbeat report highlights the urgent needs of disadvantaged students—especially first-year, first-generation college students—during the pandemic. The story follows the ups and downs of Rutgers University–Newark student Samani Ford as she pursues her dream of becoming a genetic counselor while adapting to a rapidly evolving public health situation. The report also includes insights from educational counselors and leaders, including John Gunkel, Rutgers–Newark’s vice chancellor for academic programs and strategic partnerships.
Wednesday, May 27
Wired reports on how the world is trying to make workplaces and public spaces as virus-free as possible. But Martin Blaser, director of Rutgers’ Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, says that without complete information about the hazards of transmission, “one downside is that these approaches won’t work at all, that they are maybe targeting the wrong places.”
Keeping children safe at home has, ironically, led to a disturbing drop in vaccinations. The Star-Ledger reports that a month-long period from March to April saw a 40 percent decline for New Jersey children age two and younger, while the rate among older children dropped 60 percent, compared with 2019 data. The story includes quotes from New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli NUR’76 and Hanan Tanuos, director of pediatric primary care and associate professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
Tuesday, May 26
Rutgers University President Robert Barchi wrote a Star-Ledger op-ed about the role that globally-engaged academic institutions have played—and must continue to play—during the COVID-19 crisis. “Just as major research universities have been vital in the response to coronavirus, they will be critical to our global recovery from the disease,” writes Barchi. “This includes not only the medical research to devise effective vaccines, but also the training of a post-COVID generation of nurses, physicians, scientists, engineers, business professionals, and other workers; job-creating inventions and technologies that produce the next wave of economic growth; and studies that examine the impact of this crisis and aid in public policies to address inequities.”
After weeks of being cooped up in the house, many New Jerseyans are longing to take a trip down the shore. But Don Schaffner, a professor at Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, tells U.S. News & World Report that you’d better find a beach that’s as uncrowded as possible. “If I were to go to the Jersey Shore…that would place me at higher risk, depending upon how many people are there and whether they are socially distancing,” he says.
U.S. News & World Report | During the Pandemic, How Safe is the Great American Summer Vacation?